Blockchain for Banking News

Nomura, Laser Digital, GMO Internet partner for Japanese stablecoins

nomura gmo laser digital stablecoin usd yen

Today Nomura announced a collaboration involving its digital assets subsidiary Laser Digital and GMO Internet, the parent of GMO-Z, which issues New York-regulated stablecoins. Together they plan to explore the issuance of dollar and yen stablecoins in Japan and provide a stablecoin-as-a-service solution within the Japanese market.

GMO-Z holds a New York State (NYDFS) Trust Charter, the same license held by stablecoin issuers Paxos and Gemini Trust. Its GYEN and ZUSD stablecoins are available on the Ethereum, Solana and Stellar blockchains.

“This project has the potential to greatly enhance digital asset accessibility and innovation in the Japanese financial landscape,” said Kentaro Okuda, President and Group CEO, Nomura Holdings.

Tokenization has progressed a little faster in Japan than elsewhere, although it is also early days. For example, Japan has a secondary market for tokenized securities, ODX START, and there have been a reasonable number of institutional issuances of tokenized real estate. Without a wholesale central bank digital currency (wholesale CBDC), stablecoins can enable the settlement of on-chain financial transactions.

Stablecoin competition in Japan

Since Japan’s new stablecoin laws came into force last year, various organizations have announced stablecoin plans. Apart from GMO, the other existing Japanese stablecoin issuer is JPYC, which is starting to form alliances with other stablecoin initiatives. That includes Progmat Coin, the issuance platform initiated by MUFG and backed by other major banks, including SMBC, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust.

Japanese law supports three kinds of stablecoins. One is issued via a trust company, which is the type supported by Progmat Coin and MUFG. Another is issued by a bank and is effectively a deposit token. A third is issued by the holder of a funds transfer (money services) license, which we believe JPYC has applied for. 

While JPYC is a startup, GMO Internet is a listed company. Together with GMO Financial it owns half of online bank GMO Aozora Net Bank. The bank will be the first to launch a use case under DCJPY the tokenized deposit solution founded by DeCurret. DCJPY evolved from the Digital Currency Forum, which involves more than 100 Japanese institutions and enterprises, including Nomura. 

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